I am not one to pick up on nuance. I’m also very indecisive. It’s one of the qualities that is a signature of my personality and part of the reason why no one goes out to dinner with me anymore. So when I found Tommy Pastrami in Santa Ana, CA I was at a bit of a crossroad with what my order should be. When the nice lady behind the counter asked “what can I get for you?” I froze for what felt like an eternity. That question, although common, is like asking the philosophers of history the meaning of life, or what is the nature of love?
What would Socrates say? Polyaenus of Lampascus? Tupac Shakur? The possibilities are endless and infinitely more convoluted. I summoned all of my strength, emotional resilience, and 20+ years of schooling to keep my mind from breaking. Finally I was thrown a life saver from the lady taking my order:
“You should get the 1/2 Ruben, it’s one of our most popular sandwich and it’s huge.”
“okay. I’ll get that”
“would you like it with pastrami or corned beef?”
Just when I thought I had been clear of the ominous forest of choice I get thrown into a swamp of alternatives. Sweat began beading around my brow and I could feel my mind breaking to the pressure. Then, as if by divine intervention an epiphany formed in my batter brain: This place is called Tommy Pastrami…I Should probably order the pastrami.
“I’ll have it with pastrami.”
“Okay , your number is 98”
The Tommy Pastrami 1/2 Ruben
- Swiss Cheese
- Russian Dressing
- Rye Bread
When I regained consciousness I had one of the largest 1/2 sandwiches I have ever had in front of me, taunting me. The mounds of house made pastrami stared at me as the hot swiss slowly melted into the layers of meat. The Ruben is a classic sandwich, one that can be found almost anywhere, but this Ruben is not common. With house baked bread, house made pastrami, and house made Russian dressing, the time and effort going into this sandwich was apparent. The texture in the meat is something that should be noted, it was fatty(in a good way) with a great soft texture. The spices and smoke were also present in the meats flavor, not being to overshadowed by the salt brine that is required with pastrami. I could only describe the amount of sodium I consumed as a “heroic dose,” and that’s not including the sauerkraut and pickle spear (I was happy, my doctor less so).
I swear I’ll work on my decision making skills for next time.
P.S. The chicken noodle soup was GREAT.
3751 S Harbor Blvd
Santa Ana, CA 92704
M-F: 9 am – 5 pm
Sat: 11 am – 4 pm
Delivery: Grub Hub, Seamless